In 1993, the Charles Soil Conservation District organized the Charles County Envirothon program. Since its inception, this problem-solving, natural resources educational program for high school students has grown to include participation by all seven public high schools in Charles County.

The Envirothon program was started by the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts in 1979 as a local competition. Since then, the Envirothon competition has grown to become a major educational program encompassing 45 states and 10 provinces/territories.

A group of students from North Point High School work together on their test at the Charles County Envirothon Competition.

How It Works

Teams of 5 high school students work together to study Maryland’s natural resources over the course of the school year. In the spring, these teams will compete against each other by being tested in the 5 areas of study: aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife, and a current issue. These tests are hands-on activities done in our local environment, typically held at Gilbert Run Park in Charlotte Hall. The winner of the Charles County Envirothon Competition will advance to the Maryland Competition held in late spring/early summer.

Areas of Study

  • Aquatics– Marine and freshwater biologists teach about complex under-water ecosystems as well as how wetlands and buffers contribute to healthy streams.
  • Forestry– Charles County foresters teach how to identify tree species and determine a tree’s height and age. Students also learn management techniques for healthy and productive forestry resources.
  • Soils– Soil scientists teach about profiling and mapping techniques used to determine soil characteristics for farming and developing activities.
  • Wildlife– Wildlife managers teach about animal populations and dynamics and the importance of preserving wildlife habitat.
  • 5th Topic– Every year there is a different current environmental issue that is taught. The 2023 5th topic is “Adapting to a Changing Climate”.

Rules and Regulations

  • Students in grades 9-12 are eligible to compete. Student teams may be formed from a high school, 4-H club, FFA club, or any other sanctioned local, regional, state, or nationally recognized school or club that sponsors youth in grades 9-12.
  • Each team will consist of no more than five members.
  • It is the policy to provide equal opportunity to all persons regardless of color, national origin, citizenship, status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status with regard to public assistance, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.